US and Rumania focus on Moldavia

11:31 03.11.2023 • Vladislav Gulevich , International Affairs expert

The United States with the mediation of Rumania are developing military ties with Moldavia without making secret of their anti-Russian format. American experts are planning to train Moldavian servicemen from the Stefan cel Mare motorized infantry brigade in the tactics of warfare and the use of western-made weapons (1). Rumania, for the first time since the Second World War, will deploy the brigade’s command post abroad. Taking part in the Joint Resolve military exercises are nineteen NATO countries, including 101st Airborne Division of the US Army. The drill takes place in Germany, from October 10 to November 11.(2).

Since the start of the Russian Special Military Operation, 101st Division has been sending one brigade to Rumania on the rotational basis, deploying them near the Ukrainian border. This is happening amid the Moldavian-American Aurochs Partner-2023 military exercises and the groundless statements by Moldavia’s President Maia Sandu to the effect that Russia poses a threat to Moldavian sovereignty.

The Moldavian-American exercises, which will take place October 25-31 in the training centers of the Aviation Regiment “Decebal” in Markuleshty and the Motorized Brigade “Moldova” in Beltsy (3), are part of the Moldavian National Army’s Combat Readiness Plan for this year. The US is allocating $88,6mln for strengthening Moldavia’s armed forces. 

Since February 2022, the total volume of American financial assistance to Kishinev has reached $774 million (1), while assistance from the EU has amounted to €137 million since 2021. However, this has not resulted in an upsurge in Moldavia’s economic development as the funds have been channeled for militarization purposes and ideological propaganda, rather than economically meaningful projects.

Washington has been following a pattern it tested earlier on Ukraine: boost Russophobe propaganda – supply weapons – deliberately aggravate relations with Moscow – instigate an armed conflict. It looks like the United States is currently at the provocation section of the chain.

Amid all this, Ukraine has been taking an active part in the “Moldavian issue”. President Zelensky’s recent visit to Bucharest confirmed Kyiv’s status as a Rumanian ally. Bucharest needs it to expand geopolitical control space, which is currently stretching beyond the eastern border of Moldavia. Bucharest and Kyiv, each following their own agenda, have been pointedly trying to befriend under a variety of pretexts. In the course of recent talks in Kyiv between Rumanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu and his Ukrainian counterpart Denis Shmygal, the guest described the Moldavian language as an invention of Russia. As a “political gift” and at the request of Bucharest, Kyiv renamed the Moldavian language into Rumanian. For Kyiv, fighting against “foreignism” and re-writing history is common practice.

Ciolacu, serving political needs, has devised a new language history, because the Moldavian language appeared and got its name without any assistance from Russia, and it absorbed Slavic lexis, just as the Rumanian did. It came into being earlier than the Rumanian, which completed its formation only in the late 18th – early 19th century. The above-mentioned Stefan cel Mare Brigade was named in honor of the Moldavian ruler of the 15th century, about whom History Professor of Bucharest University Lucian Boya says that there are no grounds to believe that Stefan thought himself a Rumanian. His historical self-consciousness was Moldavian, he believed that he spoke Moldavian, not Rumanian.  

If the Moldavian hero Stefan cel Mare was a Moldavian, why can’t present-day residents of Moldavia be Moldavians as well? Maia Sandu, who “cancelled” Moldavian, would hardly find the answer to this question. The anti-Russian discourse in the rendition of Rumanian and Moldavian authorities is all but a collection of pseudo-historical tales and a distortion of facts with a view to justify their current, pointedly anti-Russian policies.

Moldavia’s militarization has been registered by Trans-Dniester authorities. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Transnistria Republic Vitaly Ignatiev pointed this out in an interview with RIA Novosti: “Ostentatious injections into Moldavian army, the unprecedented number of joint exercises with NATO contingents, regular drafts – all this cannot be interpreted other than military preparations”.

As if to confirm this, the head of the EU delegation in Kishinev Jānis Mažeiks has warned that Moldavia’s euro integration should run parallel to reintegration, that is, the return of Transnistria back to Moldavia. This statement incorporates a hidden geopolitical meaning. The West does not need Moldavia without Transnistria for several reasons: firstly, Mažeiks’ words demonstrate that euro integration is not about peace and friendship, it is because Europeans do not want to see near them anyone who are different in terms of culture, civilization, politics or ideology and who are not willing to become part of the EU.  Secondly, by the mere fact of its existence, as the only island of Cyrillic Moldavian culture, the Transnistria state undermines the monopoly of the ideology “Moldavians are Rumanians”. For this very reason, the West is set on eliminating this island.

Kishinev is thus facing a dilemma: to eliminate the Transnistria statehood in order to get into the EU, or leave everything as it is but stop dreaming about the EU. The latter is unacceptable for the Sandu clique, as all her rhetoric and chances for political survival hinge on the uncompromising view that the Republic of Moldova and the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic are ideologically incompatible and that there is an urgent need to do away with Trans-Dniester one way or another.


The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the Editorial 



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